Saturday, March 02, 2013

Tonight at the Cafe: Bishop Festo Kivengere

Festo Kivengere
NOTE: One of the major highlights of my life was hearing Bishop Festo Kivengere preach when he was at Truro.  I daresay, I may be an Anglican Christian today because of the significant contribution of his preaching at Truro.

Here is some background on him:
Bishop Festo Kivengere (1919–1988) was a Ugandan Anglican Christian leader referred to by many as "the Billy Graham of Africa." He played a huge role in a Christian revival in southwestern Uganda, but had to flee in 1973 to neighboring Kenya in fear for his life after speaking out against Idi Amin's tyrannical behavior. 
Kivengere had been made bishop of Kigezi and was among several bishops summoned to Amin's quarters. Angry mobs called for their deaths. Eventually, all were permitted to leave but one, the archbishop, Janani Luwum. The others waited for Luwum to join them but he never came out. The next day the government announced that Luwum had died in an automobile accident, though in fact he had been martyred. Four days later, despite government threats, 45,000 Ugandans gathered in the Anglican cathedral in Kampala for a memorial service honoring their fallen leader. Kivengere did not attend the service. Urged to flee by friends who said, "One dead bishop is enough," he and his wife that night drove as far as their vehicle could take them and with the help of local church people in the hills they walked until the next morning brought them to safety across the border in Rwanda. 
He later authored the book I Love Idi Amin to emphasize the qualities of forgiveness for those who wronged you and love of those who persecute you. Kivengere stated, "On the cross, Jesus said, 'Father, forgive them, because they know not what they do.' As evil as Idi Amin is, how can I do less toward him?"
Here is a sermon called The Triumph of God's Glory.  Why then do we not lose hope?

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